Bipartisan heroin task force releases legislative agenda

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- “Helping our communities treat, recover and rebuild," Rep. Annie Kuster (D-NH) said.

That's the message from the New Hampshire Congresswoman who's leading nearly 90 other members in the House of Representatives in a push to address the opioid epidemic.

"We're all pulling together in New Hampshire the law enforcement the public health officials and elected officials to make a difference in people's lives and make sure we turn the corner on this heroin epidemic," Kuster added.

Kuster helped form the bipartisan task force back in 2015. She wanted to help not only her community but the dozens of others affected by the problem. You could see it on stage in the representatives from Colorado to Michigan, Pennsylvania to West Virginia. They are all states have seen the effects of the opioid crisis.

"We have to ask ourselves the question. How did we get here and how do we change the direction at which we're going," Oklahoma Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) said.

Mullin is just one of the several Republican lawmakers in the group. He joined Kuster in laying out their legislative agenda. Those are bills they support that deal with everything from prevention to treatment, to working with children and families.

Vermont Representative Peter Welch (D-VT) said even though it’s on a large scale, this agenda will help small states like Vermont.

“I think what Congress is demonstrating now is that we’re accepting some responsibility to help folks back home deal with this very difficult problem," he added.

The big question remains can this task force make a change. Welch said 'we'll have to wait and see.' But he said the way it starts is with bipartisanship.

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